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Comic great Roger Slifer dies

March 30, 2015 By Paul Levitz

Roger Slifer died yesterday, victim of a random hit & run a couple of years ago (2012) who took his time dying slowly. Roger was an old friend--we'd crashed on each other's couches, played poker, and plotted ways to make comics a better place. He came to comics from a small town whose geography he defied to become part of the CPL Gang that also gave us Bob Layton, Roger Stern, Duffy Vohland and John Byrne. In NY he was an early Marvel associate editor, DC's first full time Direct Sales guy, a DC editor, the writer co-creator of Lobo, and an advocate for creators' rights, helping found one of the field's first not-profits, the Narrative Arts Alliance, alongside more established folks like Steve Gerber and Gerry Conway. For a while supported himself on occasional coloring gigs and his poker winnings (in our game that was a real challenge given the low stakes).And after he was done with comics, he became an animation writer and producer, working on a string of impactful series.

But in between all that, he published the first attempt at a DC graphic novel, a Manhunter edition we licensed him around 1978. He took the Archie Goodwin/Walt Simonson collaboration and assembled it in one volume for the first time in a format modeled on French albums. Can you say ahead of his time? But important enough it came up at lunch today with a groundbreaking artist in the field remembering it as how he discovered Walt's genius. And that was before we heard of Roger's death.

Take a minute and remember him. Or just think of the innumerable fans, creators and even business folk who helped make comics the much more vibrant field it is today. Most are anonymous names lost to history, but their work lives on. And so does Roger's. Thanks, pal.

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